Divulge the Hidden Treasures of Budapest – 15 Tourist Attractions to Consider Visiting

Budapest

Updated On: June 08, 2024 by   Miranne KhaledMiranne Khaled

One of the greatest treasures the world bestows upon us is the beauty of Hungary. This land has been home to many great things, and unfortunately, many haven’t been aware of them.

Hungarian cities embrace many precious secrets that need to be unravelled, especially Budapest. There are many cities where you can spend a relaxing holiday. However, we’ve gathered some irresistible reasons to make Budapest your next destination.

Budapest is famous for its endless historical sites and exciting festivals, rivalling many of Europe. Tourists from around the globe fly to Budapest to witness its tremendous beauty.

So, stick around and let us introduce you to some exciting destinations to visit in Budapest.

1. Chain Bridge

Budapest

Whether you’ve been to Budapest or not, there are slim chances that you haven’t heard of its iconic Chain Bridge. Generally, this city is famous for its abundant bridges, yet the Chain Bridge stands out. This bridge was the very first one that the city had ever witnessed. 

Legends have it that Count István Széchenyi, the most significant Hungarian, is linked to this bridge. Ironically, he never stepped over or crossed it. However, this connection may date back to the tragic incident when Széchenyi fell into the Danube. 

Today, we see the bridge’s renovated version rather than its former construction. During World War II, the Chain Bridge exploded and fell into the river. After its reconstruction, the famous stone lions of János Marschalkó were placed to guard the bridge. It has a very appealing view, so make sure you take a quick snap before you leave.

2. Statue of Liberty 

The United States is not the only country graced with the tremendous Statue of Liberty. Budapest is home to another one: the Hungarian version of this statue. It is not as famous as that in New York and is slightly smaller than the American one.

The Statue of Liberty proudly sits on top of Gellért Hill. Despite not being that famous, it is still a popular destination for Budapest visitors. According to the modern narrative, this statue pays homage to Hungarian history and its nation. 

You will find great pleasure while walking up to where the statue stands. Moreover, standing up there gives you a panoramic view you will never forget. So make sure you have your camera ready to capture this breathtaking scenery.

3. The Buda Castle

Every UNESCO World Heritage Site is worth visiting; the Buda Castle is no exception. This castle is one of the most prominent monuments in Budapest. Your trip won’t be complete without it. Interestingly, the castle rises high enough, making it seem like it’s keeping an eye on the whole city of Budapest.

The Buda Castle is located in the Buda Castle District. This district has three main parts, including the castle. The historical residential area and St. George’s Square are the other two parts of this district. This place has so much history; even the air circulating around the precious castle is full of history. You will also enjoy the cobblestoned roads and beautiful sights.

This architectural masterpiece dates back to the 13th century. It was home to the kings of Hungary. It houses the Budapest Historical Museum and the Hungarian National Gallery. It also hosts the country’s most extensive National Széchenyi library.

4. Hungarian National Gallery

Budapest

If you plan to visit Buda Castle, you should visit the Hungarian National Gallery. This terrific museum is within the castle’s confines and exhibits a tremendous fine art collection. The art displays the history of Hungary through many centuries.

Besides the marvellous paintings and drawings, thousands of statues, rare coins, and art prints exist. The collection of artworks is so extensive that there is no room for boredom; there is always something new to learn.

5. Budapest History Museum

Budapest History Museum is another fine building that the great Buda Castle hosts within its fortress. If you are a history buff, then this museum is an ideal destination to consider. This spot is one you shouldn’t miss. 

Although World War II destroyed many exhibits, you can enjoy a wide array of collections. This museum showcases the upheavals throughout the long centuries of Hungarian history. It also displays what it was like to separate Buda, Pest, and Obuda once.

6. The Museum of the House of Terror

What a spooky name for a place to be in! The stories that the Museum of the House of Terror embraces are not comedic. You may have noticed that already, but it is not about art or anything near that.

This museum is the icon of the Communist dictatorship and the Nazi. It witnessed a countless number of forced confessions, severe scourges, and gruesome murders. The Nazis used it for those ugly purposes.

Currently, this museum is living proof of those terrible incidents. It houses the weapons they used in their torture sessions. Moreover, the museum has interactive devices that will make you vicariously live through the victims’ minds. Who knew Budapest was full of all of that terror?

7. Shoes on the Danube Bank

The Danube River is one of Budapest’s highlights. It courses near many sights that attract tourists from everywhere. One popular tourist attraction in Budapest is the monument ‘Shoes on the Danube Bank.’ 

Despite the tragic story of those shoes, they became a staple for many travellers. On the bank of the Danube, you will find around 60 pairs of shoes lining the bank. Many of them include shoes of little children. So, what is the story behind these shoes?

These shoes commemorate the victims of the Arrow Cross Party. They were innocent Jews who were selected for gruesome mass executions. Those innocent people stepped out of their shoes to be sent to their graves with a bullet in their heads. The foreign press had covered that tragic event, calling attention to the innocents the Danube washed away a long ago.

8. The Island of Freedom (Sziget Festival)

For many years, Budapest become a popular spot for holding the hugest music festivals in the world. Party animals travel to this city just to attend these hyping festivals. Sziget Festival is deemed the most popular in Budapest.

The Island of Freedom takes place in Óbuda-Island every year. This festival has been taking place since 1993. It started with a small gathering of music fans who shared the same interests. Later, the most significant number of visitors has been engaging in this event every year. The light the Island of Freedom has gained made it the hugest festival in Europe.

9. The House of the Country (The Parliament)

This monument may be famous by the name of the Parliament in Budapest, but Hungarians instead call it the House of the Country. This beautiful monument was built in 1880. Regardless of the name, this building is not just a boring structure you barely notice. 

This building has a colossal Gothic-like style that captures your attention and leaves you in awe—observing the Danube River coursing right before this magnificent masterpiece adds a touch of perfection.

Choosing the bank of the Danube River to build this ruling house was not a random decision. As we all know, the Danube River runs through Budapest, splitting the city into two parts, Buda and Pest. The Buda part has its Royal Palace overlooking the river. Thus, the Parliament symbolizes the ruling power in Pest.

10. The Heroes’ Square

Visiting Budapest and missing its iconic square, the Heroes’ Square, would be a sin. This square dates back to 1896, paying homage to the long history of Hungary. It features fascinating works of art that will spellbind you upon seeing.

The square has an obelisk in the middle featuring Archangel Gabriel. At the bottom, there are statues representing the 7 conquering leaders shielding 14 other statuses of great Hungarian kings. In 1900, this masterpiece received the Grand Prize at the World Expo in Paris.

Moreover, the square houses the grave of the Unknown Soldier resting in peace right there. People from around the world pay tribute to the Unknown Soldier. This phenomenon of respecting the Unknown Soldiers has been a worldwide one.

11. The Japanese Garden

Japanese gardens can be found in different areas of the world. They possess beautiful characteristics that capture the eye and the heart alike. Budapest is home to one of the world’s most beautiful Japanese gardens, which you shouldn’t miss. It is a spot for a family outing, a romantic getaway, or even a solo trip.

The Japanese Garden sits on Margaret Island. It has the most significant music fountain in Hungary. It also has fantastic fishing lakes and a zoo. Atop that, there’s a 33-meter-high water tower that adds a layer of beauty to the already splendid garden.

This garden is a beautiful escape from the bustling city where you blend into magnificent forms of nature. However, there is also history to learn about this place. Dating back to the Middle Ages, the Ferencz Order and the Dominican ruins remain in place. Thus, you may find it interesting to visit them while being around.

12. Gellért mountain

Budapest

Budapest offers many natural sights and terrific monuments to enjoy, especially since it stands beside the Danube River. However, Gellért Mountain is one of its most visited attractions. In 1987, the list of World Heritage Sites welcomed Gellért Mountain aboard. It was also announced as a nature reserve.

St. Ivan’s cave is found on this mountain. It houses many springs with warm waters, and its temperature remains the same throughout the year. Interestingly, the cave is always 21 degrees Celsius, regardless of the temperature outside.

According to many studies, this mountain was home to ancient Romans and Celts. Nothing either supports or refutes this claim. However, this is not an average mountain where you just go hiking and sightseeing. Don’t get us wrong! You can do these things, but on top of that, you have to hear the eerie stories around it.

One told tale is that the mountain’s name is linked to Bishop Gellért. Legends claim that the Hungarian Pagans placed him in a barrel and threw it into the Danube River from over the mountain. The war between paganism and Christianity was ongoing in 1046. Some also profess that witches used to conduct their meetings up there. 

13. Normafa

Normafa is a gift from nature presented to the Hungarian lands. It’s one of the top tourist attractions of Budapest, and one can’t help but be amazed by its scene. Claims around its naming involve a European singer who sang an aria called Norma in the region. To be more precise, the enchanting incident happened by the famous beech tree that used to be there.

That enormous tree used to stand hundreds of meters high at the top of Normafa. Many legends profess that the tree started growing with the birth of King Matthias. We are unsure how the stories are related, but it’s a familiar tale among the locals. Recently, that tree has been nowhere to be found. One would think it symbolizes the king’s death. However, that’s not the story told.

Many stories about how the tree was gone kept surfacing. Yet, the one that survived today involves a lighting incident. People claim that many lightings had struck the tree for several years until it no longer endured the force. And boom! It is gone. You can still know where the legendary tree used to stand. The locals have marked its spot with a memorial plaque.

Besides the long-gone tree, this place is a natural wonder that your eyes can feast on. The spacious greenery beautifies the region in many different ways. Moreover, the Normafa offers more of Budapest’s gems. These include the Lake Frog, Diznófő Spring, and Anna Meadow. There is also a chapel.

14. Thermal Baths

Budapest is well-known for its sensational spa culture. This is one of the reasons it is a perfect destination for slacking off and taking time out. Across the city, you will encounter a dozen thermal bath locations where their culture thrives.

The phenomenon of thermal baths floating to the surface in Budapest dates back to the old times. Roman settlers should take credit for such an unbending discovery. They discovered the dissolved minerals in these waters. Knowing that it greatly aided treatment and relaxation, it became a staple in Hungarian culture.

The most popular thermal bath is Széchenyi, found inside the City Park of Budapest. Consider heading to one of those mind-soothing thermal baths. Seize this opportunity to take your mind off what has been stressing you. Nevertheless, you must consult your physician before taking this step if you have any health or physical conditions. 

15. Tapolca Lake Cave 

Since we have given you a long list of options to explore on the lands of Budapest, it’s time to go underground. Budapest is where you can have an enthralling underground escapade that you can remember for as long as you live. Tapioca Lake Cave is a destination that would be sinful to miss.

The cave system is highly protected to welcome its visitors safely. It hosts three main caves: Tapolca Lake Cave, Károly Berger Cave, and Hospital Cave. Inside those caves, you can come in contact with marly layers of limestone and slightly thick clay strips. Those elements are as old as over 13 million years.

The caves contain some dry parts and some wet ones. The dry part occurred due to droughts; there were times when the caves were empty of water. However, you can sense the cooling touch in the air, so consider adding enough layers to your outfit. 

On the other hand, the wet part is where the real adventure takes place. For a brand new experience, you can take a boat trip and tour through the cave. Though it may feel intimidating, we assure you no disappearances or accidents were reported. 

16. Tram 2

While this is not a specific destination, it is an experience that your trip to Budapest won’t be complete without. It is a pile of many destinations that will amuse you and leave you in awe. Tram 2 allows you to witness numerous magnificent sights of Budapest. It starts at Jászai Mari Square and ends at Közvágóhíd, with so many sightings in between to enjoy.

The best part is that a chunky part of the route flies along the bank of the Danube. Not only do you get to see the beautifully coursing river, but you’ll also see the monuments overlooking it. There’s also this option to get off the tram at any desired destination to enjoy it even further.

Budapest presents you with some of the world’s real gems. If you’re so much into history, museums and art galleries are everywhere. Relaxation is your ultimate goal. Nothing can give you that more than a city with a spa culture where thermal baths are abundant. Nature exploration and adventure-seeking are also on the map! 

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